MTHS Blog

Mountain Top Historical Society Events 2015

Saturday, May 2: Campus Clean-up Day. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. we'll be staging work crews in the Visitors' Center, in the train station, in the barn and around the grounds to get ready for our 2015 season. Many hands make light work! Please plan to be there to pitch in for a few hours. The weather will be fine!

Sunday, May 17 -- Note change of date--: The Annual Spring Fling The event will begin with a Wildflower Walk at the Mt. Top Arboretum at 10:00 a.m.  Beverly Dezan and Lynn Byrne, lifelong educators and nature enthusiasts, will be there to guide participants along Arboretum paths.  In addition, Fran Driscoll, nature photographer, will provide pointers to those who choose to bring their cameras.  Lunch will be served at the MTHS train station at 12:30 p.m. along with presentations by Beverly Dezan and Fran Driscoll.  The cost for the lunch is $10.00 per person.  Register on our contacts page or call 518-589-6657.

Friday, May 22 7:30 p.m. : David and Wanda Dorpfeld, authors of  Legendary Locals of Greene County, will present an illustrated program and book-signing. David is the current Greene County Historian. A reception will follow.  A $3 donation is recommended.

Saturday, May 30 6:00 p.m. "The Schoharie Basin and Its Ice Age History" As part of the 5th Annual Schoharie Watershed Month, Bob and Johanna Titus tell the story of how glaciers shaped the Schoharie Basin and created its most scenic views. 6 pm at the U&D Train Station of the MTHS Campus, Rt. 23A Haines Falls.
 
Saturday, June 6: National Trails' Day - For National Trails' Day, the Mountain Top Historical Society has arranged a day of hiking, lunch, and John Burroughs at the historic Deer Mountain Inn on county rte. 25 in Tannersville. Meet at Deer Mountain Inn at 9:00 a.m., directions at their website: deermountaininn.com. We'll hike along the well-maintained trails on the Inn's 170 acre property. The new trail system at Deer Mountain opens up rarely seen vantage points to both the south and the north.To the south are views of Kaaterskill HighPeak, Round Top, and the Devil's Path. To the North we can look down into the East Jewett Valley and the Black Head range. In the foreground there are views of Onteora Park and the Village of Tannersville. The trail is steep in places, but we will set an easy pace that should be good for most people. We will return to the recently restored Arts and Crafts inn for a gourmet bag lunch. After lunch, Paul Misko will present a biographical sketch of naturalist John Burroughs with some help from Joan Burroughs, John's great granddaughter. There will also be a Burroughs Trivia Quiz, so begin studying now. The cost for lunch is $15.00. Make reservations by May 27 at 518 589-6657 or by sending a message from our contacts page.
 
Saturday, June 20: New York’s Pathway through History. “Trails, Tales, and Tea” will offer a tour of some of the homes of notable women of the Mountain Top at Onteora Park, followed by a talk and photographic exhibit, then high tea catered by the fabulous Washington Irving Inn at our historic U & D train station on our Haines Falls campus.  Register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 518-589-6657. Cost for this full day of events is $20.00 per person. Reservations must be made by June 15.
Schedule:
11:00 am Walking Tour of Onteora Park Homes (meet at the MTHS Campus);
1:00 pm Presentation "Celebrating Women of the Mountain Top" at the U&D Railroad Station, MTHS Campus;
2:00 pm Tea provided by the Washington Irving Inn.
This event is made possible with public funds from the Greene County Legislature through the County Initiative Program, administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts.
 
Saturday, July 18: The MTHS will hold its Annual Meeting at 10:00 a.m. at the Train Station. All members of the MTHS are invited to attend.

Sunday, July 19 - 2:00 pm:  Larry Tompkins will present photos from his Windham collection in the U & D train station in Haines Falls. Larry will have copies of his book Out Windham Way available for purchase and signing during the reception following his presentation A $3.00 per person donation is recommended.

Saturday, August 15: Open House/ Local History Day.   Details to follow.

Saturday, September 19: Forth Annual Postcard Show will be held at the Train Station from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3.00 entry fee will be charged at the door.

Sunday, September 27 - 2pm: Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlefields. Jim Sterba book talk and signing,  A reception will follow the talk.  A $5.00 per person donation is recommended. MTHS Campus Train Station.

Saturday, October 10: Hikefest! This day-long event will feature presentations, guided hikes, and good food. Details will be announced as they are confirmed. Mark your calendar for outdoor adventure.
Event details are still being finalized. 

November 14, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m  Around Hunter -- a presentation and book signing by authors Cyndi LaPierre and Dede Thorpe at the Catskill Mountain Foundation Bookstore. For further information see the description on our Blog.

Walk back in time on one of our popular hikes through the High Peaks of the Catskills. These were America's first hiking trails whose beauty was immortalized in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper and romanticized in the poetry of William Cullen Bryant. The breathtaking views seen along these trails today were first captured in the 19th century by the premiere artists of the Hudson River School of art, our country's uniquely American school of landscape painting.

MTHS hikes are conducted by volunteers knowledgeable about the area and include historical narrative and insider information, the result of years of study about the area’s trails, overlooks and historic sites. Robert Gildersleeve, author of the Catskill Mountain House Trail Guide, is a frequent hike leader. Bob Titus, the Catskill Geologist and author of The Catskills: A Geological Guide, leads a few hikes every season as well.

The trails, the views and the history are still here, preserved by New York State's designation of the Catskills as lands to remain forever wild. A walk through the woods with MTHS makes the past come alive for those who are adventurous and want to see and hear the story of America's first wilderness for themselves. All hikes are free and the public is invited. Please wear proper hiking attire and boots (no sneakers!), pack a lunch, don't forget rain gear or sunscreen, and bring plenty of water.

2016 Hike Schedule

 

Event dates and most details have been set. We are working on finalizing our plans for some of the late season hikes. Always check back as the hikes that interest you approach.

April 30 (Sat) Shaupeneak Ridge Led by Mike Lanspery. Shaupeneak Ridge, near Esopus, NY South of Kingston is part of the Marlboro Mountains, the ridge that extends between the Hudson River and the Shawangunks. This is our first hike in the Marlboro Mountains. Mike tells us the planned route of 3.25 miles over all or parts of 3 trails should be easy to moderate, with views of the Hudson River. More information about the Shaupeneak Ridge Park can be found at Scenic Hudson's website and at the NYNJ Trails Conference website. Register by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Meet at the Esopus Fire Dept parking area 1142 Broadway, Esopus at 10:00 am. Return around 3:00 pm. Bring lunch, water, and appropriate hiking shoes.

June 4 (Sat.) – National Trails' Day - Harding Road and Kaaterskill Escarpment Rim Led by Bob Gildersleeve.

Inspiration PointLong referred to as "The Road that Couldn't be Built," Harding's Road from Palenville to the Hotel Kaaterskill (we will save the Hotel site for another time) in some ways mirrors the better-known Mountain Turnpike to the Catskill Mountain House. The road climbs about 1200 ft in 2.2 miles before reaching the rim of Kaaterskill Clove (photo on left) and a beautiful 1.5 mile walk along the rim to a few cars which we will have ready to shuttle hikers back to the starting point. Meet at the Mountain Top Historical Society campus at 9:00 am. Return around 4:00 pm. If you can leave a car at Scutt road for the return shuttle please let us know and leave contact information. Register with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

June 18 (Sat.) Kierstead Tannery. Bob Gildersleeve and Paul LaPierre bring their experience and knowledge to an exploration of the tannery ruins and the streams and waterfalls in Kaaterskill Clove. Difficult due to rough terrain and a steep climb over loose ground and some possible slippery wet spots. Wear proper footwear; a walking stick or poles are recommended. Meet 11:00 AM at the MTHS campus. A shorter hike than last year's, we will concentrate on the tannery itself and return to the Society campus by 3:00pm for a talk by Paul Misko on the Impact of Tanneries on the Catskills. Register for the hike by calling MTHS at (518) 589-6657 (leave name/phone number/# in party) or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

July 9 (Sat.) Thacher State Park.  NYS Museum geologist Chuck Ver Straeten and Thacher Park naturalist Nancy Engel will co-lead a 3 hour hike through John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville.  Meet in the Paint Mine parking area, south side of Rt. 157 at 10:30 a.m. for an 11:00 a.m. start.  If that lot is full, the Mine Lot parking area is across the street.  The hike will follow the Indian Ladder Trail and Mine Lot Creek through scenic glens, past impressive sinkholes, and other beautiful views and geological features.  Bring a lunch, water and wear good hiking shoes. NO dogs please. Register with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 518-589-6657.

July 23 (Sat) Woodland Valley History and Geology Hike. Paul Misko  and Bob Titus team  once again for a great hike in Woodland Valley.  Along the way to a great view we will check out some  geological features, and examine some remains of human activity. We might even find some wild orchids too. This is a moderate/ difficult bushwhack of about 4 miles total, and goes from 10-4 p.m. NO Dogs Please. More details upon registration at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Note the change to the Hunter Mountain Hike.
You Must re-register.

August 7 (Sun.) Hunter Mountain. Catskill 4000 Club hike leader Paul Misko will lead us up the Catskill's second highest peak, to a fantastic view from a fire tower. Along the way we'll learn about the mountain's disturbing and funny history. This is a VERY strenuous hike of about 8 miles total, and goes from 10:00 - 5 p.m. NO Dogs Please. More details upon registration at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

MTHS Hike - Sept. 10 (Sat.) Hudson River Ramble - Hike and Booksigning The Catskills, A Geological Guide by Johanna and Robert Titus. Hike to Sunset Rock by hike leader Robert Titus, with a book-talk and signing by Johanna & Robert Titus for the new expanded edition of The Catskills: A Geological Guide at the Ulster & Delaware Train Station. Hike will meet at the MTHS campus at 1:00 pm, is moderate level of difficulty, and should return by 3:30 pm. Booksigning and reception to follow.

October 8 Hikefest Kaaterskill Rail Trail and the Falls. Exciting things are happening since we explored the Rail Trail and Falls last year. Plans for our contribution to the Lark in the Park will develop and be announced as the highly anticipated changes come in to clearer view.
 

MTHS does not require membership for hike participation. We do however request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our contacts page or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and total in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site http://www.mths.org. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.

 

 

Mountain Top Historical Society Events 2016

Visit our Hikes Page for other activities.

Saturday, May 7: Campus Clean-up Day. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. we'll be staging work crews in the Visitors' Center, in the train station, in the barn and around the grounds to get ready for our 2016 season. Many hands make light work! Please plan to be there to pitch in for a few hours. The weather will be fine!

 May 22 (Sun.) The Annual Spring Fling. Forest Meditation Walk at the Mountain Top Arboretum followed by Tea and a Tea Talk at Washington Irving Inn. Thanks to Joan Kutcher for hosting the Arboretum Walk and Johanna Titus and Stephania Jozic for arranging and hosting the Tea and Talk. Tea and Talk presented by Cathrine Titus Felix, Chef and former food editor of Victoria Homes Magazine. Tea $25, RSVP by May 17 at (518) 589-6657 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

July 15 (Friday) Peter Jung Lecture - America's First Landscape: The Hudson River and Kaaterskill Clove. 7:00 pm at the Twilight Clubhouse. Our thanks to Twilight Cottagers for hosting this event.

August 20 (Sat.) – Open House – details to follow 

Sept. 10 (Sat.) Hudson River Ramble - Hike and Booksigning - The Catskills, A Geological Guide by Johanna and Robert Titus.  Hike to Sunset Rock by hike leader Robert Titus, with a book-talk and signing by Johanna & Robert Titus for the new expanded edition of The Catskills: A Geological Guide at the Ulster & Delaware Train Station. Hike is moderate level of difficulty and should return by 3:30 p.m.  Book-talk/signing and reception to follow.   

September 17 (Sat.)Fifth Annual Post Card Show will be held at the Train Station from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Food will be available. The MTHS will also be selling ephemera from its attic in a special sale. A $3.00 entry fee will be charged at the door.  

Walk back in time on one of our popular hikes through the High Peaks of the Catskills.  These were America's first hiking trails whose beauty was immortalized in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper and romanticized in the poetry of William Cullen Bryant.  The breathtaking views seen along these trails today were first captured in the 19th century by the premiere artists of the Hudson River School of art, our country's uniquely American school of landscape painting.

MTHS hikes are conducted by volunteers knowledgeable about the area and include historical narrative and insider information, the result of years of study about the area’s trails, overlooks and historic sites.  Robert Gildersleeve, author of the Catskill Mountain House Trail Guide, is a frequent hike leader. Bob Titus, the Catskill Geologist and author of The Catskills: A Geological Guide, leads a few hikes every season as well.

The trails, the views and the history are still here, preserved by New York State's designation of the Catskills as lands to remain forever wild.  A walk through the woods with MTHS makes the past come alive for those who are adventurous and want to see and hear the story of America's first wilderness for themselves.  All hikes are free and the public is invited. Please wear proper hiking attire and boots (no sneakers!), pack a lunch, don't forget rain gear or sunscreen, and bring plenty of water.

 

2015 Hike Schedule

 

Event dates and most derails have been set. We are working on finalizing our plans for some of the late season hikes. Always check back as the hikes that interest you approach.

May 17 (Sun.) The Annual Spring Fling. The event will begin with a Wildflower Walk at the Mt. Top Arboretum at 10:00 a.m. Beverly Dezan and Lynn Byrne, lifelong educators and nature enthusiasts will be there to guide participants along Arboretum paths. In addition, Fran Driscoll, nature photographer, will provide pointers to those who choose to bring their cameras. Lunch will be served at the MTHS train station at 12:30 p.m. along with presentations by Beverly Dezan and Fran Driscoll. The cost for the lunch and presentation is $10.00 per person. Register using our contacts page or call 518-589-6657.

June 6 (Sat.) –  National Trails' Day - For National Trails' Day, the Mountain Top Historical Society has arranged a day of hiking, lunch, and John Burroughs at the historic Deer Mountain Inn on county rte. 25 in Tannersville. Meet at Deer Mountain Inn at 9:00 a.m., directions at their website: deermountaininn.com. We'll hike along the well-maintained trails on the Inn's 170 acre property. We will return to the recently restored Arts and Crafts inn for a gourmet bag lunch. After lunch, Paul Misko will present a biographical sketch of naturalist John Burroughs with some help from Joan Burroughs, John's great granddaughter. There will also be a Burroughs Trivia Quiz, so begin studying now. The cost for lunch is $15.00. Make reservations by May 27 at 518 589-6657 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

June 20 (Sat.)  Women on the Mountain Top. Opening program with an exhibit on famous women on the Mountain Top.

July 11 (Sat.) Woodland Valley. 10:00 a.m.  Join us on a moderate hike in Woodland Valley. On the way to some great sites, historian Paul Misko will share some history about John Burroughs and his first hike up Slide Mt. This hike is about 4 miles, 6 hours total and includes some rocky and slippery places. No Dogs Please. Meeting details and more info upon registration at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

July 25 (Sat.) Circuit of South Mountain. Led by MTHS's Bob Gildersleeve, we will explore one of the most popular routes of 19th Century guests and a path that is said to have inspired Calvert Vaux and Federick Law Olmstead's design of the Central Park Ramble. The trail is unmarked and will involve a scramble and a few short climbs through passes in the ledges of South Mountain and will include one location that we have not visited in earlier hikes of this route. (The hikers in the photo above were probably familiar with the path.) Meet MTHS Campus 9:00 AM. Return around 2:00. Moderate difficulty due to the off-trail nature of the terrain.

August 8 (Sat.) John Burroughs on Slide Mountain.. 10:00 a.m. Join us on a climb up Slide Mountain, the Catskill’s highest peak.  Along the way to some great views, historian Paul Misko will share stories about John Burroughs and his famous hike to the summit.  This hike is rated difficult, about 6 miles long, 6 hours total, with some steep and rocky sections.  No Dogs Please.  Meeting details and more info upon registration at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

August 22 (Sat.) Kirstead Tannery in the depths of Kaaterskill Clove. Bob Gildersleeve, Robert Titus and Paul LaPierre bring their experience and knowledge to an exploration of the tannery ruins and the streams and waterfalls in Kaaterskill Clove. Difficult due to rough terrain and a steep climb over loose ground and some possible slippery wet spots. Wear proper footwear; a walking stick or poles are recommended. Meet 9:00 AM at the MTHS campus. Return around 4:00.

MTHS Hike - Sept. 12 (Sat.) Hudson River Ramble - South Mountain and the Hotel Kaaterskill Site – The Hotel Kaaterskill, a chief rival of the Catskill Mountain House opened in 1881 and burned in a spectacular fire in 1924. Enough of the massive hotel's footprint and carriage roads exist for us to visualize the splendor of this famous Catskills hotel. We plan to walk along the road from the Kaaterskill station of the U&D, find the site of the new footbridge scheduled to be completed early next year, then follow the approach road to the Kaaterskill site carrying a 1901 Hotel Kaaterskill walking stick back to the very spot where it was purchased over a hundred years ago. Meet at the Mountain Top Historical Society Campus 5132 Route 23A, Haines Falls, NY at 9:00am, expected return by 3:00pm. Moderate to Difficult, couple of steep climbs along an old carriage road and marked trails.

October 10 Hikefest Several hikes in the Central Catskills our blog has details.
 

MTHS does not require membership for hike participation. We do however request that you register for each hike. Participants can register on our contacts page or by calling (518) 589-6657. Please leave your name, phone number, and total in your party. Schedule subject to change. The latest information is available on our web site http://www.mths.org. Notification of changes, including cancellations due to weather will be made on the web site up to the day of any given hike.